Happy Independence Day, fellow country humans. Happy recent Canada Day, Canadians. Happy Feast of St. John the Baptist last week, Quebec folks. Celebrations. Parties all over. Hurray. Hurray.
It is dark. A waterfall is roaring behind my left shoulder. The St. Lawrence flows quietly in front. I spoil my night vision writing to you; imagine the stars I could be reading books underneath if I weren’t so dedicated to telling you, dear reader, about the really cool things that happen in life.
They’re really cool.
I walked north(east) after Orford, finishing trails and getting back onto the Route Verte, which is paved in some parts and gravelled in others, and realllllllly flat. Plat. I guess that’s also used in French to mean boring. And full of mosquitoes.
In an effort to become more efficient and a better hiker, I have been harvesting books from people along the way.
This adds to my consequence. The more books in your pack, the more edifficated you must be. Also there are too many humans in the summers; and they all say things. Like, words and stuff.
Plus they’re on bikes, so I can’t get away. Plus after more walking and collecting so many books, I got to hang out in Quebec City again, which is definitely one of my favorite cities in North America, and we all know cities are full of talking humans or whatever.
Oh. Speaking of on bikes, actually you totally can get away. I know a bunch of yez’uns like to worry for me, which is great because with so many heads already worrying, the worry jar is full up so I can cork it, and stick it on a shelf in back until someone unwittingly nudges it and it explodes, why didn’t we label that thing better donchaknow, too bad well I guess next time use the bright red marker or else Jimmy gets the hose again,
The clowns were a great moment in my city exploration. Here is a peaceful photo over the St. Lawrence from the sunset last night.
But the point of that is: I broke the worry jar over the head of some poor dingus who decided to ride his bike slower than I could walk (for half an hour) almost out of sight behind me in the gathering dusk last week. No more jar.
This means that 1) No more worries, and 2) I resolved that this writing I should mention about race and being a woman and wandering alone, because every time there are humans these are two subjects I am not allowed to forget, and this serves two puposes. First, it makes you aware that these happen constantly,
whether it’s a dude getting pissed off and yelling at me because he asked me something and I don’t speak French, but he thinks I’m pretending I only speak English to turn him down because I guess he was flirting and wanted to be acknowledged and now here I am in the middle of the street being yelled at. That was yesterday.
Or it’s people telling me I’m exotic, or the random biker making really inappropriate comments as he rides behind me on a bridge, or the standard assumptions of general inexperience backed up by unsolicited giving of advice.
These can happen multiple times in a day. The most I ever noticed was seven, one people-full Saturday morning, which was a bit excessive when you’re peacefully rock hopping through a park donchaknow.
They are usually not worth writing about, and go into the standard I’m a woman trash bucket we all have in the house somewhere.
The second reason I mention these things is to bring up how I personally deal with the fact that this will happen until I get old and turn invisible like older women in our society so often do*.
*This moment will come with great gloriousness. I shall terrorize the populace from my porch swing, and eat many apple pies.
I understand that you can’t always change how people see you, or what they decide to do about it, but you decide the effect it has on you… So I’m training myself to react constructively.
For example, when a farmer starts a normal wave, notices it’s me, and turns it into the weird flutter wave where you only bend the first finger joints that some adults think is appropriate for small children even when they are already self-aware, I take mild note of it, cheerfully accept that it is so, slowly drop my chin into my neck, and puff air into my lower cheeks to make my face look as froglike as possible for the special benefit of the next three passerby while practicing the creepy and strange subharmonic vocalizations I figured out I could do one day while trying to make cow noises.
Gotta get ’em somewhere, by golly.
Anyways, be well. Quebec small towns are adorable, and two of my Maine friends accidentally took a vacation into Quebec City at the exact time I walked through, so we ate delicious Thai food and were pleased. Also, Quebec folks are lovely and I had a wonderful smoothie with a cool human yesterday, to more than make up for angry guy.
please enjoy your morning,
and someone bring me cookies please,